More than twenty years ago, a medication was developed that can save lives and reduce the disabling impacts of a stroke. Known as tissue plasminogen activator (or “T.P.A.”), this medication is now considered the gold standard for the treatment of ischemic strokes by the American Stroke Association.
Generally speaking, there are two types of strokes that can occur—ischemic stroke or hemorrhagic stroke. An ischemic stroke occurs when there is an obstruction to one of the vessels that supplies blood to the brain. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the area surrounding the brain. T.P.A. can only be used to treat ischemic strokes. When timely used to treat an ischemic stroke, it can be a brain-saving treatment.